Video Blog: 'Skyfall' is the Best of Bond Old and New in a Long Time
by Alex Billington
October 13, 2012
"Let the sky fall, when it crumbles, we will stand tall, and face it all together." Bond is back! And better than ever. I was lucky to catch the very "first showing" of James Bond's Skyfall, the 23rd Bond film, last night and it was awesome. I left the even more excited than when I went in. Everyone knows I'm a life-long, die-hard Bond fan and have been leading up to this (with a set visit to Istanbul) and more, but this was the moment I was waiting for. Its been four years since we last saw a new Bond film, and not exactly to the best outcome. But Skyfall will make you forget about that and fall in love with the character of 007 all over again.
As I tweeted right after seeing it - I want to see Skyfall again right away. Then talk about it for hours on end with Bond fans. It's refreshingly modern and completely exciting again, but also harkens back to the classic Bond (I'm talking Connery, Moore, Lazenby, Dalton) in so many ways, with fun little nods throughout, but also thematically and characteristically. Skyfall is big, beautiful (due to cinematographer Roger Deakins) and badass, thanks especially to director Sam Mendes and all he brought to it. I could go on, but it's best to save the experience for theaters, because like a Chris Nolan film - this is one you need to see in theaters.
As is the norm, immediately following the screening I recorded a video blog with my friend Peter Sciretta from SlashFilm (who is not a Bond fan) talking about our initial spoiler-free reactions to Skyfall. Watch:
This year marks the 50th anniversary of James Bond in movies and I truly believe Eon Productions went all out, hiring THE perfect director and crew, the best writers and cinematographer, and giving them any and everything they needed to make this possibly the best Bond movie of its modern era. Even over the Pierce Brosnan films, which (give or take GoldenEye) seem like flashy Hollywood shlock compared to Skyfall. The depths it gets into with the character of James Bond, as well as M, the villain Silva, even the new Q (played perfectly by Ben Whishaw) is just one of the many layers to this complex story of espionage, technology and humanity. Who is James Bond, really? Besides just a number, or just a spy. You will find out in Skyfall.
There is so much more I wish I could say, but can't yet. The kind of stuff Bond fans will love discussing for hours on end after seeing it. To me this is almost a completely fresh reestablishment of modern Bond, of the Daniel Craig James Bond (and Craig, mind you, is certainly at the top of his game once again). The way it ends, the story it sets up, the journey it takes the characters on; it's deep, but it's everything Ian Fleming would be proud of. That Chris Nolan comparison works in many ways, as it kind of feels like a Nolan Bond (if you can envision that) but with all the human relationship sensibilities Sam Mendes is best known for.
I can't say enough good things about this. The intensity builds slowly at first (after a fantastic 20-minute opening chase scene through Istanbul) but as it goes on it gets more and more intense. Every action scene hits hard, but for good reason, because every character has weight, even the supporting ones. Even Q. Even the Prime Minister. However, for the sake of assuring your own experience in theaters is as good as mine was, I'll save more discussion for later. But I can, and must say again - Bond is back and better than ever!